by Flora Carr
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Pub Date 05 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 05 Mar 2024
Doubleday Books, Doubleday
"Such a vivid, visceral read, you feel you’re locked in the tower alongside the characters, acting out a royal family drama. I am moved and impressed." --Tracy Chevalier, New York Times bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring
Scotland, 1567. A pregnant Mary, Queen of Scots is dragged out of her palace by rebel lords and imprisoned in the isolated Lochleven Castle, an ancient fortress surrounded by a vast lake. Her infant son and heir, James, has been captured by her enemies.
Accompanying Mary are two inconspicuous serving women: observant, ambitious Jane and romantic, quick-tempered Cuckoo, who endeavor to keep their mercurial mistress company while sharing the space of a claustrophobic room over the course of their eleven-month forced stay. Their hosts want them dead. They'll settle for Mary's abdication.
After Mary reluctantly surrenders her throne, her closest friend, the reserved, devoted Lady Seton, is permitted to join the captive women. Against the odds, as they hatch a perilous getaway plan, the four women form a bond that transcends class and religion, and for Jane and Seton, becomes something even deeper. At the center of it all is Mary--calculating, charming, brave, and unbowed. Flora Carr's thrilling, feverish debut is a celebration of resilience, a meditation on the meaning of power, and a testament to the unshakeable strength of female friendship, starring one of history's most charismatic leaders.
“The Tower is such a vivid, visceral read, you feel you’re locked in the tower alongside the characters, acting out a royal family drama. I am moved and impressed.” –Tracy Chevalier, New York Times bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring
“An immediate, immersive experience of sharing the year the fallen Mary Queen of Scots was held in a Scottish island castle prison with a few attendants and only her courage and charm to rescue her. Lyrical, riveting, and unforgettable." –Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth I
“An imaginative, dark gem of a novel, about women, power and fear, still, intelligent and beautifully written, yet as tense as a thriller.” –Neil Blackmore, author of Radical Love
“An absorbing read and an utterly believable female perspective on history. Its cocktail of tension and tenderness perfectly captures the claustrophobic world of the four women in the tower; a historical narrative with contemporary relevance.” –Sally Hinchcliffe, author of Hare House
“An intimate, exquisitely told story of Mary, Queen of Scots and her maids during their year of imprisonment, portraying their hopes and fears, their affections and irritations with such skill that you feel you are in the room with them. A beautiful, poignant book that draws you into the world of these women so fully that it is a wrench to leave it.” –Elizabeth Lee, author of Cunning Women